Court rejects Vienna Convention case

Nov. 17, 2003 at 1:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court Monday rejected the case of a Mexican national whose consulate was not notified of his arrest in Oklahoma on murder charges.

Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer dissented in separate opinions to the denial of review, saying in part notification of consul is required by the Vienna Convention, an international agreement whose signatories include the United States.

Osbaldo Torres was arrested for murder in Oklahoma in 1993. He was convicted in state court and sentenced to death, and state appellate courts ruled against him.

Torres then brought his case to federal court in 1999, arguing among other things that Oklahoma officials had failed to notify him of his Vienna Convention rights or notify his consulate of his arrest.

A federal judge rejected his argument, noting that Torres had not raised the claim in state court proceedings or shown that the violation had prejudiced his case.

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